THE crazy goings on at Newcastle this week have dominated the sports headlines around the country. But all the words will count for nothing at 5.30pm tonight.
Because when we kick off against them, it will all be about the players on the pitch, not managers past and present, player mutinies or rebel fans at St James Park.
And I’m backing us to come out on top.
Were it not for all the controversy up there this week, we might have heard a bit more about the two main strikers on either side.
The Geordies have been getting increasingly excited about young Andy Carroll. He does carry a goal threat and we’ll have to be on our toes at the back for 90 minutes to deal with him. He’s good in the air, fairly quick and will chase down everything.
But provided we keep tabs on him, I’d let Newcastle worry about our centre forward rather than be too concerned with their man.
Fernando Torres will be back after missing the Villa game. And due respect to Carroll, who is still learning the game, I know which one of the two I’d far rather have in my side firing the bullets.
Torres will be fresh and rested after attending the birth of his second child - and I suspect raring to go at a ground and against a team where we have traditionally fared extremely well.
Last time we were up there two seasons ago we put five past Newcastle, before hitting another three past them at Anfield.
Torres is a truly world class striker and if we can get him in, he can be the big difference.
He’ll be itching to get back on the goal trail too after missing those chances last time at Spurs.
For me, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan - both scousers - offer Newcastle’s biggest threat. But the way we’ve been playing, even without Stevie Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, we’re well capable of handling them too, I believe.
The way is clear for Torres to take the headlines now. And I’ve a sneaky feeling he just might.